The Sweet Sound of… Data
I was getting my hipster on, listening to a song called Love Show by Skye, and for whatever deep reason, it prompted me to think about researching the music industry. Without further adieu, I’ve put together a list of five great resources, in no particular order, for freely available music industry research:
1. The RIAA- Not necessarily the first name we associate with “giving stuff away freely,” but the infamously-terrifying-to-college-students trade group has a research tab that includes downloadable reports on shipment data, music’s economic impact, and of course, the effects of piracy.
2. The IFPI- aka the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, it’s another major industry trade group akin to the RIAA, and in fact the RIAA links to a handful of the IFPI’s reports from its research page. Nonetheless, it deserves its own mention, especially for its in-depth Digital Music Report that it has published for five years now.
3. Digital Music News- Not only does it sport a spiffy logo, but it also has an excellent selection of industry news and graphic-laden summaries of studies with titles like: “92% of Music Fans Still Prefer Ownership…”, or “81% of iTunes Collections Never Get Played. Ever…”, or “Whoa: 3 Stores = 94.4% of Indie Digital Revenues…”. It returned great results with keyword searches like: “study” or “trend” or “marketing”.
4. Billboard.biz- The business research offshoot of the main Billboard publication, it has several categories of industry news, e.g. retail or branding, plus genre-specific news too, e.g. Latin or Dance.
5. The Music Business Research Blog- A 2+ year blog that’s going strong, it’s run by Dr. Peter Tschmuck, an industry expert and university professor. Concerning this endeavor, he states: “This blog for Music Business Research is designed as a scientific discussion forum on all issues of music business/industry in all its manifestations.” Not only is it an intelligent blog, but it also includes downloadable theses and papers that were generously contributed for Dr. Tschmuk’s cause.